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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

HSV-1-induced SOCS-1 expression in keratinocytes: use of a SOCS-1 antagonist to block a novel mechanism of viral immune evasion.

Keratinocytes are important for the acute phase of HSV-1 infection and subsequent persistence in sensory nervous tissue. In this study, we showed that keratinocytes (HEL-30) were refractory to IFN-gamma induction of an antiviral state to HSV-1 infection, while IFN-gamma did induce an antiviral state in fibroblasts (L929). This led us to examine the possible role of suppressor of cytokine signaling-1 (SOCS-1) in this refractiveness. RT-PCR analysis of SOCS-1 mRNA expression in HSV-1-infected cells showed a 4-fold increase for keratinocytes while having a negligible effect on fibroblasts. A similar pattern was observed at the level of SOCS-1 protein induction. Activation of STAT1alpha in keratinocytes was inhibited by HSV-1 infection. A direct effect of HSV-1 on the SOCS-1 promoter was shown in a luciferase reporter gene assay. We have developed a small peptide antagonist of SOCS-1, pJAK2(1001-1013), that had both an antiviral effect in keratinocytes against HSV-1 as well as a synergistic effect on IFN-gamma induction of an antiviral state. HSV-1 ICP0 mutant was inhibited by IFN-gamma in HEL-30 cells and was less effective than wild-type virus in induction of SOCS-1 promoter. We conclude that SOCS-1 plays an important role in the inhibition of the antiviral effect of IFN-gamma in keratinocytes infected with HSV-1. The use of SOCS-1 antagonist to abrogate this refractiveness could have a transformational effect on therapy against viral infections.[1]


  1. HSV-1-induced SOCS-1 expression in keratinocytes: use of a SOCS-1 antagonist to block a novel mechanism of viral immune evasion. Frey, K.G., Ahmed, C.M., Dabelic, R., Jager, L.D., Noon-Song, E.N., Haider, S.M., Johnson, H.M., Bigley, N.J. J. Immunol. (2009) [Pubmed]
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